After struggling with a muddy running section 25 miles into The Mid South, Lauren De Crescenzo (Cinch) motored her way past multiple groups of echeloned riders on a windy day to win The Mid South by 12 minutes.
This year she is again on a Colnago G3-X with Knight wheels. When she won Unbound Gravel 200 last year, she used Maxxis Rambler tires and aerobars. When she won SBT GRVL, she did not have aerobars per race rules, and she used slick René Herse tires.
When she won The Mid South yesterday, De Crescenzo was on René Herse and a new aero set-up with 3D-printed extensions. Her right aero bar came loose in the latter half of the race, and when it kept drooping down towards her front wheel, she flipped it back up, with the tip facing her stomach. “I’m trying not to stab myself,” she said with laugh during the race.
For the closing 25 miles, racers faced strong head- and crosswinds on the plains of Oklahoma. Despite the kink in her aero plan, De Crescenzo simply rode away from all the women and all but 13 of the men in the field on a day when 919 people finished.
De Crescenzo and her coach Tom Danielson have been refining the Colnago G3-W over the last two years, sometimes modifying it per race.
3D-printed aerobar extensions from Aerocoach are the latest addition to De Crescenzo’s Colnago. Having a tailored fit allows for comfort and low drag with a minimum of weight, compared to a stock adjustable system.
Last year De Crescenzo was racing with SRAM Force eTap. Now she’s on SRAM Red eTap AXS with a Quarq power meter (which is part of the SRAM family) and oversized derailleur pulley wheels from SLF Motion (which is not part of SRAM).
The SLF Motion pulleys, like all oversized pulleys, is designed to reduce drivetrain drag by reducing chain articulation. The less a chain has to bend, the less friction there is. The SLF wheels are 14- and 18-tooth for top and bottom, respectively. It is a small gain but a measurable one.
The René Herse Snowqualmie Pass has basically a road tire tread, but wider.
Knight made De Crescenzo stickers for her wheels with her signature.
The Aerocoach left extension has a tidy mount for her Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. The Mid South course is marked with stakes, but having the route on a computer is still vital.
The carbon wings on the arm rests keep the rider secure, which is good any time you’re in the aero bars and especially so on rough gravel. The rough gravel managed to knock De Crescenzo’s right extension loose. It’s secured by two bolts in a clamp on the handlebar.
De Crescenzo’s right extension came loose towards the end of the race, and one it started pointing down towards her front wheel, she flipped it back towards her stomach.
A Specialized Power is De Crescenzo’s perch of choice.
Neutral support isn’t a thing at gravel races. De Crescenzo uses a Pro saddle bag to pack her necessities.